Blockchain in Digital Advertising

blockchain in digital marketing - picture include the mobile phone on a human hand and it's srcreen light display 'BLOCKCHAIN' word.
Blockchain, Digital Advertising, Digital Marketing

Ever since AT&T’s banner ad popped up on back in 1994, digital advertising has boomed into the biggest way companies promote their stuff.

Statista says we’re spending a ton on online ads—like $615.92 billion in 2022 and a massive $1 trillion by 2027. That’s way more than the $234.35 billion we spent in 2017. Every year, it seems like we’re adding $123.18 billion to the total. Since 2018, online ads have been the top choice, mostly because everyone’s spending time online these days. With about 63% of the world’s people using the internet in 2022, it’s no surprise that online advertising is getting more than half of the world’s advertising money.

Digital advertising is a massive industry, but it faces some big challenges. These challenges can make it frustrating for both advertisers and consumers.  Blockchain technology has the potential to solve many of these problems and make digital advertising fairer, more efficient, and more trustworthy.

In today’s world, something is trying to sell you stuff everywhere you look. Whether it’s the names of sponsors on basketball jerseys, big ads plastered on buildings during your morning train ride, or those online ads that magically know what you’ve been searching for, marketing is everywhere.

The digital advertising and marketing business is expected to grow, hitting a whopping $946.9 billion by 2027. But with this growth comes some big problems. One of the nastiest is advertising fraud. This sneaky trick involves fake clicks and views from bots, costing the industry billions of dollars and messing up data.

Enter blockchain. This nifty tech could be the answer to our ad fraud headaches. By using its super-transparent ledger system, blockchain can save money and give us real-time info, making digital advertising a whole lot more reliable. So, watch out for blockchain—it’s changing the game in digital advertising!

As blockchain keeps on growing, it’s finding more cool ways to help out in advertising and marketing. For instance, it can be used to make customer loyalty programs better and to make trading contracts easier. So yeah, blockchain isn’t just for digital advertising—it’s got lots of tricks up its sleeve for making marketing even better!

A person is holding a smartphone in their hand. The phone is displaying a app.

Understanding Blockchain: A New Way to Track Information

Imagine a special record book that everyone can see and agree on. That’s kind of what a blockchain is! It’s a special type of database that stores information in a way that’s both transparent and tamper-proof.

Here’s what makes blockchain different:

  • Blockchain databases are transparent. Unlike a regular record book kept by one person, a blockchain is shared among many computers. This means everyone can see the information and check if it’s accurate.


  • Blockchain databases are immutable. Once something is written in the blockchain, it can’t be changed or erased. Think of it like a permanent marker on a whiteboard – you can’t rewrite what’s already there, but you can add new information next to it.


So far, blockchains have mostly been used to track cryptocurrency transactions. But this technology has the potential to revolutionize many industries, including digital advertising!

By using blockchain, advertisers could track their campaigns more effectively and avoid getting tricked by fake clicks or views. This would make digital advertising more trustworthy and efficient for everyone involved.

The Problems with Digital Advertising Today

Digital advertising is a powerful tool that allows businesses to reach a large audience of potential customers.  However, there are several problems with the way digital advertising works today.

  • Lack of Transparency: Advertisers often don’t have a clear picture of where their ads are being displayed or who is seeing them. This can make it difficult to track the effectiveness of their advertising campaigns.
  • Ad Fraud: Ad fraud is a big problem in digital advertising. Fraudsters use bots and other techniques to create fake ad impressions, which can cost advertisers billions of dollars each year.
  • Data Silos: User data is often scattered across different platforms and websites. This makes it difficult for advertisers to get a complete picture of their target audience.
  • Limited User Control: Users often have little control over their data and how it is used for advertising purposes.

How Blockchain Works

Blockchain is a distributed ledger technology.  This means that it is a database that is shared across a network of computers.  When a transaction is added to the blockchain, it is verified by all the computers on the network.  This makes it very difficult to tamper with data on a blockchain.

Here’s a simplified explanation of how blockchain works:

  • Blocks: Information is stored in digital “blocks” on the blockchain. Each block contains data and a unique code that links it to the previous block.
  • Miners: Computers on the network called “miners” compete to solve complex mathematical problems. The first miner to solve the problem gets to add the next block to the blockchain and is rewarded with cryptocurrency.
  • Immutability: Once a block is added to the blockchain, it cannot be changed. This is because each block contains a code that is based on the content of the previous block. If someone tried to change a block, it would change the code of all the subsequent blocks as well.
A laptop computer on a desk displaying information about blockchain in advrtising,

How Blockchain Can Improve Digital Advertising

Feeling stuck in a rut with the same old digital advertising strategies? You’re not alone. Many businesses are looking for fresh approaches to reach their audience more efficiently and transparently. That’s where blockchain technology comes in!

Blockchain, the system behind cryptocurrencies, offers a unique opportunity to shake up the world of digital advertising. Here’s how:

Increased Transparency and Efficiency

Blockchain can create a more transparent and efficient digital advertising ecosystem.  Advertisers will be able to see exactly where their ads are being displayed and how much each impression costs.  This will help them to track the effectiveness of their campaigns more accurately.

For example, imagine a blockchain-based advertising platform.  When an advertiser buys an ad impression, the transaction is recorded on the blockchain.  The record includes information about the ad, the publisher where the ad will be displayed, and the price of the impression.  This information is available to all participants on the network, so there is no room for fraud or hidden fees.

Reduced Ad Fraud

Ad fraud is a major problem in digital advertising, but blockchain can help to reduce it.  Because blockchain is a tamper-proof ledger, it is very difficult to create fake ad impressions on a blockchain-based platform.  This will save advertisers billions of dollars each year.

Here’s how blockchain can help to reduce ad fraud:

  • Verification of Impressions: On a blockchain-based platform, every ad impression would be verified by the network. This would make it very difficult for fraudsters to create fake impressions.


  • Disincentives for Fraud: Fraudsters would not be able to profit from creating fake ad impressions on a blockchain-based platform. This is because all transactions on the blockchain are public and traceable.

Improved Data Ownership and Control for Users

Blockchain can give users more control over their data.  Users will be able to choose how their data is used for advertising purposes.  They will also be able to sell their data to advertisers directly if they choose to do so.

For example, imagine a blockchain-based platform where users can store their data in a secure digital wallet.  This data could include information such as demographics, interests, and purchasing habits.  Users would then be able to decide which advertisers can access their data and for what purposes.  They could also choose to sell their data directly to advertisers if they choose to do so.

This would give users more control over their privacy and allow them to benefit from the value of their data.  Advertisers would also benefit from having access to more accurate and up-to-date user data.

More Targeted Advertising

Blockchain can help to improve the targeting of advertising.  Advertisers will be able to use blockchain to track user behaviour across different platforms and websites.  This will allow them to create more targeted ad campaigns that are more likely to reach the right audience.

For example, imagine a blockchain-based platform that tracks user activity on social media, e-commerce websites, and other online platforms.  This data could then be used to create targeted advertising campaigns.  For example, an advertiser could use this data to target ads for a new sports car to users who have recently been browsing car websites and following sports pages on social media.

This would allow advertisers to get more value from their advertising budgets.  It would also provide a better experience for users, who would be more likely to see ads that are relevant to their interests.

Building Trust and Stronger Relationships

Blockchain can help to build trust between advertisers, publishers, and users.  The transparency and immutability of blockchain will make it easier for all parties to trust that the system is working fairly.  This can help to build stronger relationships between advertisers, publishers, and users.

For example, imagine a blockchain-based platform that uses smart contracts to automate the process of buying and selling advertising space.  Smart contracts are self-executing contracts that are stored on the blockchain.  They can be used to ensure that all parties involved in a transaction fulfill their obligations.

This would create a more efficient and trustworthy advertising ecosystem.  It would also help to build stronger relationships between advertisers, publishers, and users.

Improve lead quality

So, how can blockchain help with marketing? Well, one big thing is that it can improve the quality of leads you get. When people share their info with your brand, it’s a sign they’re interested. This means it’s easier to turn them into customers because they’re already interested in what you offer.

Right now, gathering data for marketing is a bit all over the place. Marketers collect data from lots of places, put it together, and then use it for campaigns. But sometimes, this data isn’t quite right, leading to campaigns that don’t work as well as they should.

But with blockchain, things could change. Instead of gathering data from different places, marketers can get it straight from the people who matter: the customers. Take Brave, for example. They’ve made a web browser that blocks ads. But here’s the twist—they still show ads to users, but the users get to decide how much personal info they share. Advertisers then use this info to target their ads, without ever knowing who’s seeing them. It’s a whole new way of doing things, and it could be the future of digital advertising.

A diagram illustrating the stages of marketing planning, including research, analysis, ideas, and planning.

So, which businesses or industries will be affected by blockchain technology?

The global market for digital advertising software was worth about $56.52 billion in 2021, according to Grand View Research. And get this—it’s expected to grow by 19.1% every year until 2030. But will blockchain have a big part to play in that growth? It’s hard to say for sure just yet, but right now, things aren’t looking too promising.

Market leaders seem unaffected by blockchain tech right now

Right now, the big players in the market, like Google and Facebook, don’t seem bothered by blockchain tech.

These tech giants have poured loads of cash into the building:

  • Huge databases with info on billions of people all over the world.
  • Advertising platforms that work pretty well, keeping clients happy and coming back for more.

But here’s the thing—using blockchain might not give them much of an advantage. It would mean giving up some of their control, and they’re not too keen on that idea.

Blockchain may work for ad demand-side platforms

Blockchain technology shows promise in revolutionizing digital advertising platforms, much like Google AdSense does. Many current systems face issues like click fraud and unfair treatment of publishers due to numerous intermediaries, such as demand-side ad platforms.

IBM and Mediaocean are leading the charge in creating a blockchain-powered network similar to AdSense. However, they face competition in this growing field.

Struggles of Blockchain in Social Media

Blockchain technology has faced challenges in making a mark in the realm of social media, unlike its success in digital advertising.

Several blockchain social media platforms have emerged but failed to gain significant traction. For instance:

  • Peepeth, which aimed to foster mindful discussions, has been inactive on Twitter since January 2021.
  • Sapien, resembling a blend of Facebook and Pinterest, has only around 1,000 downloads from the Google Play store.
  • Steemit, allowing content creators to earn from upvotes, boasts $59 million in payouts since its inception.


Past attempts like Social and WildSpark also faltered. It’s tough for new social platforms to compete with established ones due to the challenge of rapidly scaling up and achieving the network effect, a hurdle that blockchain-powered platforms face as well.


Blockchain is a disruptive technology that has the potential to revolutionize digital advertising.  By increasing transparency, reducing ad fraud, giving users more control over their data, and enabling more targeted advertising, blockchain can create a fairer, more efficient, and more trustworthy advertising ecosystem.

While blockchain is still in its early stages of development, it has the potential to transform the way we advertise online.  As blockchain technology continues to mature, we can expect to see even more innovative applications emerge in the digital advertising industry.